Different Take

This is one of those annoying little ads which pops up in the middle of an online article (we used to call them “speed bump” ads, back in the day):

I have to say that when I first saw the pic, neither “back pain” nor “sciatica” were the first things that popped to mind… which is no doubt its intent.

“So what did pop to mind, Kim?”  you may ask facetiously.

Heheh… you just had to ask.

Leadership

Mitch Berg (my old buddy from the Pleistocene Age of blogging) provides a little historical perspective which, like most of Mitch’s stuff, is superbly written and crafted.  But there’s one part which got my attention, bigly:

But America is a restless, endlessly creative, impatient nation, overstocked with people who are not going to sit on their hands and wait for things to get better;  it’s a nation full of people who are descended from people who came from all over the world, uprooting everything they knew, to make things better.

I think that we forget this, sometimes, and I know that certain sections of our society — the Press, the academe, and all the Socialist-politicians — rather wish that we were not like that, because it interferes with their little plans to turn us all into vassals and serfs of the Almighty State.

But we are like that;  and that national characteristic is going to make the recovery from this Chinese bio-invasion lightning-fast and stronger than anyone can imagine.  And if anyone disagrees with this, the chances are that they are part of the problem:  the Press, the academe, and all the Socialist-politicians.

We shall overcome — not “some day”, but soon, Bubba.  Buckle yer seatbelts.

Leaving Us Alone

With all the crisis talk and “We’re all gonna diiiieeeee!”  and “Gummint must do something!”  nonsense, there’s still more proof (as if we needed it) that most of America made the right choice back in 2016 by electing God-Emperor Trump.  Here’s why:

President Donald Trump did something difficult and remarkable during the White House press briefing on Sunday: he stood up for the free market in a moment of crisis, when at least half the country is pushing him to abandon it.
A reporter asked the president why he was not using the Defense Production Act to nationalize industries to take control of companies and force them to produce needed health care equipment for treating coronavirus patients.
Trump’s answer was that the United States does not believe in nationalization, and does not need it, either.

…and he goes on to give examples.

You know, I have always preferred that our presidents have executive political experience — e.g. a state governorship (despite Jimmeh Carduh) — but of late I’m starting to revise that opinion.

I realize that Trump is quite an aberration — he’s something of an iconoclast, and not all businessmen are in his mold — but I have to tell you that I’m starting to think that we need to elect, or at least give serious consideration to presidential candidates who have made their way in successful businesses.  (I’m not talking about CEOs of corporations, necessarily, because they’re often no better than the stultified politician type.)

Can anyone imagine where we as a nation would be now had we elected Her Filthiness as POTUS instead of DJT?  There’d be a Virus Czar, a Nationalization Czar, a Facemask Czar and countless other “czars”, all equally incompetent and ineffective — and you’d better believe that we would now be in the death-grip [sic] of a UK/EU-style NHS (which, from all accounts, is proving absolutely incompetent to handle this current emergency).

We dodged a bullet back then, folks;  and we now need to do two things:

  • re-elect Trump in 2020, and
  • make sure that his successor in 2024 is of the same steel and beliefs, so that all his good work is not undone by some Hillary/Biden/Bernie clone in the future.

Otherwise:

Not to mention at least one  other charming situation:

Doing The Right Thing

This from the CEO of Kroger Co. to his embattled employees:

“This is a situation none of us have ever been in, and at a time when our customers and our country truly need us, you are there every step of the way. None of this would be possible without each and every one of you, working together as one. It’s so inspiring. I can’t thank you enough for your dedication to our customers and each other. You inspire me, it is so impressive.”

And then to add real appreciation to his words, he’s awarded bonuses to all of them.

Bravo.

As an aside:  Daughter’s future hubby is a store manager for another grocery chain, and over the past month all store employees have been told, “Don’t worry about the hours;  you come to work, work as long as you can, and we’ll pay the overtime, regardless.”

Poor guy has had about six hours’ sleep ever since.  Daughter is a stern task master.

Flashback

Britain starts to panic:

A food policy expert has warned a food disaster could be imminent unless the Government implements rationing. Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University in London, has written a letter to Boris Johnson asking him to ‘initiate a health-based food rationing scheme to see the country through this crisis’.
He wrote to the Prime Minister ‘out of immediate concern about the emerging food crisis’ and in the letter described public messaging about food supply as ‘weak and unconvincing’.
His warning comes after shoppers across the country have been met with empty shelves as panic-buying takes hold.

Back when I was running a now-defunct supermarket chain’s loyalty program in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Hampshire (Grand Union, if anyone out there remembers them), we had a common problem with “hot” items.

Often, our buyers got such good deals from manufacturers from bulk orders that our shelf retail prices were better than the wholesale price offered by distributors to local grocery stores and bodegas.  So the small-store owners would descend on our supermarkets and buy up all the sale items, to resell them in their own stores.  Nothing wrong with that, of course — except that it took stock away from our “regular” loyal customers, who typically accounted for 70% of total sales and close to 90% of gross profit.

So I put an end to all that.  Whenever the buyers told me about their hot price discounts (which they had to, as I was also in charge of Advertising), I would do two things:  make the low price available to loyalty card holders only, and then limit the number of items at that price to two or three per day per card.  Result:  we sold the same amount of product, only it was spread across a larger number of customers.

And I designed a sub-system for item purchase limits that automatically instituted the policy whenever the daily sales rate started accelerating past a certain velocity.  So if there were storm warnings and people started to stock up on, say, batteries, the in-store stock was quite- or nearly sufficient and would-be profiteers couldn’t play their reindeer games.

I did all this, by the way, back in the mid-1990s, so it’s not like it’s a new situation.

As I look now at the panic-buying of toilet paper and hand sanitizers, and the resulting empty shelves thereof, I can’t help wondering why all grocery stores haven’t been doing that now.  I know that not all chains (Wal-Mart especially) have loyalty programs, but most of the big ones do.  Doesn’t say much for their planning, does it?

And by the way, there’s also an answer for chains who don’t  have loyalty programs:  just institute price escalation (instead of -reduction) for multiple purchases:  first two items, $1.99 each, third or more items, $8.99 each.  With today’s technology, the software change should take about an hour to implement.

Food logistics is not something government should get involved in, despite the frantic appeals of “food policy” professors.